Since its founding 40 years ago, the Black Community Fund of Kansas City (BCF) has granted  $4.6M to 225 organizations throughout the metro area. In 2010, they began awarding scholarships, and since then have given out $800,000 in scholarships to local Black students.

But for their 40th anniversary, they wanted to do something special.  

“Normally, we don’t give this many scholarships out,” says BFC Board Member Dan Haley. “But this is our 40th anniversary and the board thought, hey, 40 years of service. Let’s do 40 scholarships.”

All 40 scholars have now received their first disbursement, and the money will follow them if they transfer or even if they take a gap year. 

The BCF scholarship is an annually recurring award open to all Black learners including high school seniors, graduate students, and returning adult students so long as they enroll at an accredited institution. 

“We just want to give money to Black students,” says BFC Executive Director NaTika Rowles.

Scholarship winners include Lincoln Prep graduate Victoria Rollins, who will attend HBCU Harris-Stowe University in the fall. Rollins plans on majoring in business administration with a minor in writing and hopes to one day own her own media production company. Rollins expressed gratitude for the BCF’s help.   

“I’m really grateful for them working with me, it was a really easy process, and I appreciate that,” says Rollins. “Merit-based scholarships are kind of scary for a lot of people, especially when you don’t know if you’re gonna get them. So I’m just overall grateful.” 

Scholarship amounts range from $500 to $5,000, with students required to participate in 16 hours of community service per year and to maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA while in school. 

“I’m thrilled to be selected by a group interested in uplifting young Black people pursuing higher education,” says Mary-Kathryn Wert, who’ll be majoring in English at Carleton College in Minnesota, and hopes to go into journalism post graduation.

The Black Community Fund of Kansas City is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support and leadership to enhance socio-economic aspects of African-American communities in the Greater Kansas City area. 

They seek to be preeminent thought leaders effecting positive community change through stewardship, leadership, philanthropy, and education.